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Gainesville hospital board votes for a new partnership to help keep doors open

(KXII)
Published: Dec. 28, 2016 at 9:40 PM CST
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GAINESVILLE, Texas (KXII) -- A local taxpayer-owned hospital is facing millions in debt and they've decided to partner with a for-profit company to help keep their doors open.

NTMC is a county-owned non-profit hospital but they may soon be called TMC Gainesville because of a new partnership.

After being open for 12 years, the hospital is nearly $7 million in debt and the community is shocked because their tax dollars are funding it.

"About 75 percent of our current debt is our pension, there is day to day debt in terms of accounts payable."

"At the time, I knew it was close 5 and half or better. I didn't know it was that much."

Interim NTMC CEO, Ramin Roufeh, says the board unanimously approved a deal with the for-profit company Universal Health Services, the parent company of Texoma Medical Center.

"There are 50,000 patients that can depend on this hospital for the care that they need. This going forward Texoma Medical Center is a great organization that we look forward to partnering with who will continue to take care of our patients that desperately need it."

Roufeh says the NTMC board has also decided to file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy which will protect it from creditors while coming up with a plan to pay off its debts.

Meanwhile the agreement allows TMC to lease all five buildings on the hospital campus and take over operations at the hospital.

"At the forefront of every decision that they're making we feel like like we would fit in very well with their system so it's more of a partnership to ensure our longevity for the community hospital going forward."

Roufeh says the agreement shouldn't impact the 250 people who already work at NTMC.

The current board members will remain in place, but TMC will create an operations board.

The changes are expected to take place within the next couple of months.